Around 15% of the world’s population lives with a disability and often faces obstacles in their daily lives. Although technological assistance systems now help to overcome physical and mental barriers, the use of such systems is often cumbersome and difficult for various reasons. In many cases, these aids are not based on the needs of the users, and high production costs or prices often make it impossible for those affected to acquire the assistance systems.
Shaken up by these observations, Professor Robert Riener from the Sensory-Motor Systems Lab at ETH Zurich initiated the non-profit project CYBATHLON in 2013. He believed that a competition would be the best driver to advance the development of new technical assistance systems for people with disabilities and to raise public awareness of the problems faced by people with disabilities in everyday life.
Today, CYBATHLON is more than a competition and sees itself as a platform that challenges development teams around the world to develop assistance technologies suitable for everyday use with and for people with disabilities.
The overwhelming response to the CYBATHLON 2016 in Zurich and the CYBATHLON 2020 Global Edition inspired the more comprehensive ETH Rehab Initiative, with the aim to enable people with disabilities to participate fully in society and improve their quality of life.
"Out of the box! Breaking the boundaries in people's minds - that's what I stand for, and CYBATHLON shows that in such a wonderful way!"
Motivational Speaker & Mental Coach
"I initiated CYBATHLON to promote the development of technologies that provide real support for people in daily life."
Professor for Robotics at ETH Zurich and University Hospital Balgrist
Initiator of the CYBATHLON
"The CYBATHLON is about people, not handicaps."
Founder of the Give Children a Hand Charity, Bionicman author and CYBAHTLON ambassador
"We believe that outstanding and curious engineers can make a positive impact on the world. This is why we supported the CYBATHLON from the beginning."
CEO maxon Group
"The CYBATHLON gives hope and confidence to people with disabilities by showing what modern assistive technologies can do."
City President of Zurich
The CYBATHLON is designed to stimulate further research on assistive technologies and a closer dialogue between users, researchers and the general public on topics such as rehabilitation and accessibility. As a platform, CYBATHLON connects society, research and development and people with disabilities in an emotional, positive and unique way. The aim is to constantly analyse what exists and create new, forward-looking event formats and projects – for a world without barriers.
Your support enables
- research on user-centric assistive technologies for people with physical disabilities
- an increased public awareness of the needs of the people concerned